1) Can you tell us about your life, your childhood, your family, your adolescence and the moments that have influenced your life and your personality most of all?
I grew up in the Seattle-area and attended public schools my whole life (from elementary through graduate school). I think living in an area that is filled with natural beauty has influenced me tremendously. Also, the opportunity to live all over the United States help me understand how different areas of the country value different things.
2) What education have you received? Why have you chosen this particular area? Have you ever regretted your choice?
I have a law degree and I am very happy to have it. I am also happy not to be practicing law on a daily basis
3) How have your working life and career developed? What have influenced it most of all?
I worked for many years after undergraduate, got my law degree and then had children and took time off from working. Once my children were back in school I returned to the work place. I think that having time to raise my kids and really think through my professional goals was most influential
4) What do you think about the current Conservation Agriculture trends in the world?
I am very happy that there is more interest in conservation agriculture. But, there are still many parts of the world that need help implementing these practices - both technical and funding. Also, we should be sensitive that works in one area does not work in other areas so these should always be a suite of solutions not an all or nothing approach.
5) Would you advise farmers to adopt CA practices? What major benefits and drawbacks are associated with it?
Yes, I would advise farmers to adopt these practices since over time they result in higher yields, lower inputs and more resiliency (not to mention the carbon sequestration and clean water benefits). The drawbacks are lower yields in the first 5+ years, higher costs in the early years and learning a new way of farming.
6) What role should the government play to stimulate the farmers to adopt Conservation Agriculture practices?
The government should put forth policies that incentivize farming. In the US, there could be reform in the crop insurance realm and potentially subsidies to defray certain beginning costs. Also, the government can provide technical assistance.
7) How do you see the future of Conservation Agriculture?
Bright - there is a lot of renewed interest in this area. As long as this is a farmer led effort, I think it will be very successful. But, third parties, who are not involved in agriculture, cannot become the face of this movement.
8) What would you advise the farmers in Russia?
These are very beneficial practices but they require patience and dedication. I believe the long-term effort is worth it.
9) What are your plans for the future in terms of your work and expectations?
I expect to be at Nori for the foreseeable future helping develop new methodologies and making the enrollment process easier for farmers. There is tons to learn - excited to see what happens in the upcoming years.